I remember a time I got hurt by a friend I had trusted so much. I didn't know it would hurt that bad when a friend leaves just like that, with no explanation at all. I wondered how a friend could just stop being your friend after everything. It was unbelievable--like a movie, only that it was happening in real life. And it's much more painful than I've ever imagined. I felt betrayed like arrows were speared at my heart when I was not looking, right at my most vulnerable moment. I felt bad why I've ever opened and given my heart to people. I wanted to forgive but it’s just hard!
I've tried everything. Remembered the good things. Recalled the fond memories. I imagined what would it be like when I meet the person again someday. Would I be able to smile and say “Hello! It’s so nice to see you”? I knew to forgive was the right thing to do. So I practiced—to smile, wave my hand and greet with my usual happy tone. But it was just hard! Because deep in my heart I was really hurt and I couldn’t pretend I'm okay. And I found myself rehearsing lines from a famous movie instead.
“Who are you? I'm sorry if I can't remember you...”
As crazy as it seems, I was so angry, unforgiving and hurt that I wanted to pretend I have amnesia the next time I meet the person who offended me. I just didn't know when and how I could forgive.
But God, He's so different, so forgiving! No matter how many times we've hurt Him in the past, He doesn't rehearse movie lines pretending He has forgotten us. Instead He forgives us. He pardons our sin and hurls our iniquities to the depths of the sea. He does not stay angry forever but shows us His compassion and unfailing love.
And when I look at His love for me and how much He has forgiven me, something in my heart begins to change. Suddenly, I want to be like Him and my grudges seem so small and childish. I ask myself how can I not forgive after God has forgiven everything inexcusable in me. Suddenly, I don`t want to be amnesia girl anymore.
When we allow God`s love and forgiveness to wipe away our sins and overflow in our hearts, everything begins to change. His love wipes the bitterness away. And when we see ourselves as God`s forgiven children, we begin to understand what it means when He asks us to extend the same grace and love He has showered us extravagantly with. We`ve been forgiven and He wants us to extend the blessing. And when we do, the bitterness melts away and what remains is love, freedom, peace and the strength to forgive another day.
Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities
into the depths of the sea.